News Archive - October 2005

28 October

King Kong Updates
According to The New York Times, King Kong producers agreed to release the movie at a length of 3 hours, after seeing a version of the film in late September at Peter Jackson's studio in New Zealand.

Asked about the length of the movie, Universal executives said they saw it as an advantage in an King Kong era when jaded moviegoers are hungering for something extraordinary.

The extra length has helped increase the budget by a third, to $207 million.

And while we're on the subject, this is a good time to remind you of the wonderful "behind the scenes" clips shown on the Kong is King site. The latest clips show the post-production process.

In addition to showing the making of some special effects, there is a clip (which is about 5 weeks old) showing a very slim Peter Jackson and composer Howard Shore working on the score. Needless to say, the clip was recorded before Jackson dropped Shore.

In the clip you can see the preparation of the recording hall, Shore conducting some pieces and you get an early listening of the score. I got the impression that Shore wrote a wonderful music to the movie; too bad Jackson rejected it.

Here is the clip (QuickTime format):
240x135 (7MB) / 320x176 (14MB) / 480x270 (18MB)

26 October

More Photos
Added 29 new photos:

- 21 photos to the Misc/Unknown section
- 4 photos to the Scanners section
- 3 photos to the Naked Lunch section
- 1 photo to the Shivers section

25 October

Photos from A History of Violence
Added a whole new photo section for A History of Violence, with 31 photos.

24 October

Photos from Spider
Added 5 new photos to the Spider section.

23 October

Photos from The Fly
Added 24 new photos to The Fly section:

- 4 promotion photos of David Cronenberg
- 3 photos of "deleted scenes"
- 4 photos of "behind the scenes"
- 13 photos from the "behind the scenes" featurette

22 October

Photos from Dead Ringers Featurette
Dead Ringers - Behind the Scenes Featurette Dead Ringers - Behind the Scenes Featurette Dead Ringers - Behind the Scenes Featurette Added 20 photos to the Dead Ringers section. 17 of them are taken from the "behind the scenes" featurette (thanks again to Polityk).

Photos include director David Cronenberg, director of photography Peter Suschitzky, the shooting of one of the motion-control scenes with Jeremy Irons and his performance double (John Bayliss), and another scene with his picture double (Graham Evans).

21 October

Photos from Alias (2003)
David Cronenberg as Dr. Brezzel in Alias David Cronenberg as Dr. Brezzel in Alias David Cronenberg as Dr. Brezzel in Alias Added 16 photos to the Cameos section, of David Cronenberg's guest appearance in the TV series Alias. He played Dr. Brezzel in episode 9 ("Conscious") and episode 10 ("Remnants") of season 3, broadcasted in December 2003.

20 October

Peter Jackson Rejects Howard Shore's Score to King Kong
According to SoundtrackNet as well as other sources, Peter Jackson has dropped Howard Shore's score to the upcoming remake Howard Shore and Peter Jackson in happier times of King Kong.

With only 7 weeks to go before the movie is scheduled to premiere, Jackson has hired composer James Newton Howard to write a new score. Due out on December 14, the film requires over 2 hours of music.

Most (if not all) of Howard Shore's score has already been recorded in New Zealand. The replacement score will be recorded in Los Angeles.

Peter Jackson made the following statement: "I have greatly enjoyed my collaborations with Howard Shore, whose musical themes made immeasurable contributions to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realize that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of King Kong. Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film. I'm looking forward to working with James Newton Howard, a composer whose work I've long admired, and I thank Howard Shore, whose talent is surpassed only by his graciousness".

New David Cronenberg Interview
Two weeks ago, NPR had a fascinating interview with David Cronenberg. It started with questions about A History of Violence and quickly went to discuss all his career and the philosophy behind his various movies.

The interview was 30 minutes long and you can listen to it online:
NPR Format: Media Player / Real Player

Don't forget to check out the links on the page for other discussions on Cronenberg's movies, including interviews with him and Spider's author, Patrick McGrath.

(Credit goes to ihavecomputer)

19 October

Cronenberg/Giger Tattoo
Matthew Hopkins is the bassist of The Band from Planet X.

He has just done a big biomechanical tattoo on his arm, which includes one of the gynecological instruments for operating on mutant women (from Dead Ringer) and art inspired by H.R. Giger, including the mutant babies from his Birthmachine work.

The tattoo is by Bryan Hunt of Tora Tattoo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Matt sent us some photos of his new tattoo. click the thumbnails to see them in full size.
  Matt's Cronenberg/Giger Tattoo Matt's Cronenberg/Giger Tattoo
Matt's Cronenberg/Giger Tattoo

18 October

DK's Review: Dark Water (2005)
I had very low expectations for Dark Water (2005). The recent Hollywood craze of making horror movies for the teens (remakes of Japanese horror in particular) produced some of the worst movies I've ever seen. In addition, I already watched the original Dark Water (2002) and really hated it (it had good atmosphere, but I found it very boring and the plot Dark Water (2005) to be silly and predictable).

Unlike many remakes, this movie is actually much better than its origin (in my opinion, of course). It doesn't work like most recent horror movies; in fact, I'm not sure it's supposed to be a horror movie at all (although it's being promoted as one). It works more like a psychological thriller.

There is a very good acting by the entire cast: Jennifer Connelly is gorgeous as ever and really carries the movie - she is very convincing, even in the more-cliched situations; Pete Postlethwaite and John C. Reilly are both good as the sleazy guys; Camryn Manheim (from Happiness) behaves like she's been a teacher for years; Ariel Gade is surprisingly good for a 7-year old in her second feature film; And I didn't even recognize Tim Roth as the lawyer who runs his office from the car.

Director Walter Salles and writer Rafael Yglesias did a good job in avoiding many of the cheesy horror movies tricks and creating good atmosphere. A major contribution to this atmosphere is the wonderful score by Angelo Badalamenti.

While not a masterpiece, this movie does show that remakes can be done well and sometimes even surpass their origin.

DK's rating: 6.5/10

16 October

New Webhost
Welcome to the new residence of The Plasma Pool at

I decided to abandon the previous webhost, esmartweb, which hosted the site for the last 3.5 years, for several reasons: The need to have ads at the top of the screen; Their unprofessional behavior in disabling the account without any notice, moving all the files (and leaving an almost hidden note, in the form of a file name), taking so long to reactivate the account; Problems with the file system since they decided to move the files. 50webs

I chose 50webs as the new webhost for several reasons: It's free; It doesn't force any kind of ads on the site; It gives 60MB of web space (esmartweb gave only 20MB, and The Plasma Pool is already reaching that limit); It allows file of up to 300kb; It got very high rate by users of free webhosts; It has support for free accounts.

I hope this new webhost will prove to be a good choice. However, if you encounter any kind of problem (host inaccessible, loading is too slow, missing pages, etc.), please let me know about it - either by mailing me or by reporting it on the Forum and I will see how to solve the problem, even if it means changing to yet another webhost.

Also, I need your help in informing referrers to the original location to change their link to the new address.

Enjoy your stay,

13 October

Webhost Ads
As you might have seen, the site got suspended in the last 24 hours. The webhost of the site, eSmartweb did that because I was hiding the ads.

I managed to reactivate the account, but the ads have to be shown, as you can see. I know it's annoying, but I have no other choice now. If I hide the ads - they will delete the account altogether.

Needless to say, the ads are out of my control. They are added by the webhost and not by me.

DK's Review: A History of Violence (2005)
(This review does NOT contain spoilers)

2005 turns out to be a year of sell-outs by the greatest directors. For me, it started with Terry Gilliam making The Brothers Grimm after the collapse of The Man who Killed Don Quixote. It continued with James Cameron giving us Aliens of the Deep - a boring and extremely shallow documentary that looks more like an unedited "behind the scenes" featurette (read my full review on the movie for more details). And now - David Cronenberg giving us A History of Violence. Oh, and I haven't seen yet Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies - which is said to be his most commercial mainstream movie yet. A History of Violence (2005)

But let's start at the beginning. David Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors. Movies like Dead Ringers, The Fly, Spider and Crash appear high on my "all-time favorite" list. Having a unique point-of-view, deep analysis, dealing with subjects that are far away from the mainstream interest - to name a few - can easily put him under the definition of an "auteur" in any dictionary.

Naturally, having such high anticipations from your favorite director and expecting such a high standard are almost a guaranteed disappointment. But I was not disappointed with Spider (here again - read my full review on the movie for more details).

A History of Violence, on the other hand, is a big disappointment for me. For the high standard I expect from Cronenberg, I can say it's his worst movie in years. I write this review after just having watched the movie; will I change my mind after a second viewing? Possibly. Maybe Cronenberg's commentary will reveal some more depth that I failed to realize.

Like Gilliam, who was forced to compromise his values a little and make a commercial movie in order to make some money, Cronenberg also had to make a commercial movie - he is quoted as saying this himself. I sincerely don't blame either of them. An auteur who takes such huge risks and makes such non-commercial movies for years, is "allowed" in my opinion to make a commercial movie once in a while in order to get paid for his work.

Cronenberg worked for two years on Spider and wasn't paid anything for it. While Hollywood flooded the market with piles of cheesy movies - Cronenberg was one of the few to risk everything and give us something special. If what Cronenberg or Gilliam need, in order to finance their next "real" movie, is to make a commercial movie right now - then so be it. It doesn't make them any lesser directors and it doesn't indicate a lack of talent. Their resume contains enough material to justify their status.

Having said that, I'm going to contradict myself a bit here. During his career up until now, Cronenberg never seemed to have to compromise. During the years he turned down (for various reasons) many offers for movies that were almost guaranteed to become huge hits (Return of the Jedi, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun - just to name a few). But instead he chose to continue with low-budget and non-commercial movies. Why did he choose to break this tradition now? Is it because Spider was such a huge project? Is it because after all these years he seeks some recognition for his work from the mainstream audience (not to mention Oscar-buzz rumors)? Is it because he wants a taste of the "easy" life of making a simple movie?

After the first view, A History of Violence doesn't seem to me like a real Cronenberg movie. The body/mind-orientation, which is so vivid in (almost) all of his other movies hardly exists and I didn't feel his special magic here.

For me it was funny to see that from the very first moment of the movie. Cronenberg ALWAYS opens his movies with a main titles sequence before the actual movie begins. This is an important issue for Cronenberg, who claims the sequence transfers the audience from the real-world into the atmosphere of the movie. Putting the credits while the movie already starts reminds him of the way TV shows, which are relatively short, are made in order to rush things. I'm sure most people (even big fans of Cronenberg) wouldn't be aware of this issue and wouldn't notice the breaking of this rule in A History of Violence, but for me it was (rightfully or not) like a hidden message from Cronenberg, saying: "This is not a real Cronenberg movie; this IS a commercial movie". Maybe I'm just imagining things...

I don't think the movie is bad. It's just not what I expect from Cronenberg. There were lots of disappointment for me here: The acting, the writing, the direction and maybe even master-Shore's music (I definitely need to give a few listens to the music before deciding this). None of them was bad; they were just average. And *I* want a lot more than "average". Cronenberg usually brings out the best of every aspect: writing, acting, cinematography, music, etc.

Maybe a second view of the movie - this time without all the anticipation - will be more enjoyable. In either case, I hope Cronenberg's next movie will be back in his familiar territory, far away from commercial material.

DK's rating (after the first view): 6/10.

11 October

Dead Ringers - The TV Series?
Dead Ringers Faisal A. Qureshi refers us to Dread Central, which reports that the movie Dead Ringers may be on its way to become a TV series on HBO, with David Cronenberg himself serving as an executive producer.

According to the reporter, Ryan Rotten, during a press screening for the movie Doom, he noticed a press note stating that screenwriter Wesley Strick was developing this series, named Ringers.

Personally, I really hope such as TV series will never be made. Dead Ringers is my favorite Cronenberg movie and making it something that fits the taste of the wide public is a crime to the movie. Any thought of a remake, sequel or spin-off to it makes me uneasy.

A History of Violence Soundtrack Released
A History of Violence - Soundtrack by Howard Shore Howard Shore's score for A History of Violence is released today. One of the best composers in a collaboration with Cronenberg always produces one of the best scores of the year. I expect nothing less from this one.

Amazon sells the OST for $14.

7 October

Interview with Visual Effects Supervisor of A History of Violence
Ian refers us to vfxblog+, which conducted an interview with Aaron Weintraub, who was the visual effects supervisor on A History of Violence.

Warning: The interview seems to contain spoilers, including photos. Dimension Films: Shark Boy Dimension Films: Shark Boy

If you're interested in visual effects in general, you might want to check the other sections of vfxblog+. This site contains some fascinating interviews and photos from other movies, such as before-and-after images and captions from Batman Begins.

Thanks a lot, Ian!

5 October

Nicolas Cage Names his Son after Superman
Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim gave their new born son the birth name of Superman. Born 2 days ago in New York City, the baby's full name is Kal-el Coppola Cage.

Nicolas and Alice met in February 2004 at a Los Angeles restaurant, where she was his sushi waitress. They became engaged in April 2004 and got married in July 2004. At the time, Nicholas was 40 and Alice was 20. Nicholas already has a son (born in 1992) with model Kristina Fulton.

Quick math: Nicholas' wife is only 8 years older than his son. And I didn't even mention the heights difference yet (check out the photos)...

DK's Recommendation

Don't come Knocking (2005)

DK's rating: 6.5/10

DK's Recommendation

Otto - Der Film (1985)

DK's Recommendation

Off Screen (2005)

DK's rating: 7/10

DK's Recommendation

Flightplan (2005)

DK's rating: 6/10

DK's Recommendation

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)

DK's rating: 7/10

DK's Recommendation

Dark Water (2005)

See more details on October 18.
DK's rating: 6.5/10

DK's Recommendation

Black Hawk Down (2001)

DK's rating: 7.5/10

DK's Review

A History of Violence (2005)

See more details on October 13.
DK's rating: 6/10

DK's Recommendation

Empire Falls (2005)

DK's rating: 7/10

DK's Recommendation

The Big White (2005)

DK's rating: 7/10

DK's Recommendation

Dummy (2002)

DK's rating: 7/10

DK's Review

Aliens of the Deep (2005)

See more details on September 24.
DK's rating: 4/10 - Avoid

DK's Recommendation

Childstar (2004)

DK's rating: 6/10

DK's Recommendation

Cool Runnings (1993)

DK's rating: 6/10

DK's Recommendation

Raw Deal: A Question
of Consent (2001)

DK's Recommendation

Shattered (1991)

DK's rating: 7/10

DK's Recommendation

Gross Anatomy (1989)

DK's rating: 6.5/10

DK's Recommendation

War of the Worlds (2005)

DK's rating: 6.5/10

Older news:
2005: September
2004: December
2003: March
2002: December